We met Pierre Mallia, Managing Director at iMovo, for an interview about the company and thoughts about the industry.
Hello Pierre, how are you? Are you ready for SiGMA17?
Hi there, sure we’re all really revved up and raring to go at iMovo for what we are sure will be a very successful SiGMA17! I mean 16 was good, but we’ve got far higher expectations this year.
How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?
Well actually in our case it was the other way round, we started up in 2010, as a boutique firm specializing in CRM and Analytics, and quite by accident we learned that this was a pillar for gaming companies to be successful. We’ve never looked back and working with our partners Zendesk, Salesforce, Qlik, Tableau and Talend we are helping players in the industry right across the board.
Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?
Well as I said before, we’re 100% focused on CRM and Analytics which are the mainstay of any gaming operation. We have an Advisory and Projects team which provides advisory services such as process design and best practice in key areas such as sales, marketing and customer service. Our team is heavily certified in the solutions we provide and has experience of working with companies right across the world. We bring our customers a blend of experienced business advisors and deep technology competence.
How do you think technology is driving business forward? What are the little secrets that help iMovo in innovating yet again?
I’ll turn that question around a bit if I may: Where do you think the business would be without technology? Pretty rhetorical right? So yes technology is not just driving it forward, but also radically evolving and changing the way the business works. As to our “secret sauce”, well that’s a secret! But let’s just say we do 2 things well – “eat our own dogfood” and keep looking out at the distant horizon of digitalization and adopting approaches and new technologies that will take us that way. For instance, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to be a major disruptor in the Gaming Sector and we’re making investments to be ready for that.
What makes iMovo unique? What do you have that will make you succeed that some of the other companies maybe don’t have?
Well I guess the answer to that is pretty apparent, first off we have great people in the team! If it weren’t for the team we’d just be a run of the mill technology shop. There’s energy and verve and the fact that we’re playing in a global marketplace not just domestic really drives our collective will to compete aggressively against players who are a lot bigger than us. The second aspect is our razor sharp focus on customer success. We’re not content to simply sell solutions to our customers, we’re totally customer centric and go more than the extra mile to ensure our customers succeed – their success is our success.
Thirdly, I guess it’s also down to our partners. When you’re working with the best in class global players, this forces you to learn from them and grow up fast.
Finally, I’d say it’s the kind of customers we have and the relationships. Yes all companies have customers – but with a very high proportion of repeat business and much coming from global blue chip customers, this really makes it worthwhile.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
Well apart from Malta, we’ve done projects in countries like the US, UK, Italy, France, Greece, Romania, Mauritius and Dubai. So as you can see we have a diverse area of operations and the industries are also extremely varied. For instance we operate in the retail and government sector in the UK, the utilities sector in Greece and France and of course financial services and gaming here in Malta.
What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?
Mobile is a great opportunity. One of our key customers locally was an early adopter and has one of the most downloaded mobile apps locally as a core part of its business today. I don’t think companies have really rethought their business in terms of the part that mobile can play – we see a lot of gaming firms working in mobile and gradually also quite a few onboarding their customer service operations to mobile , which is a key space we play in. Mind you, I believe that we ought to be re-inventing our business in terms of other non-conventional channels as well such as social and here I am talking about the broader scenario beyond the Facebook, Twitter sphere.
Are there any other exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
I think we’ll do a rain check on this point … otherwise we’d be pre-empting what we are planning for SiGMA17. So just one word to your readers; if you’re interested in learning how to leverage your customer data and improve your operations, come by and visit us at SiGMA17.
What sort of gaming-specific technology services do iMovo offer online gaming firms?
As mentioned before, we’re heavily into CRM technologies where we have a close relationship with Salesforce and Zendesk. I need not elaborate much about what these two do for gaming companies as we’ve been helping a variety of firms in the industry. We also provide self-service analytics and visualization services through our Tableau and Qlik practice to many of the major operators in the industry in a variety of use case scenarios.
What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your business?
We’re not a big bureaucratic company – we love to work with customers and help them increase their customer lifetime value proposition. We are pretty unique, particularly to Malta, because we’re the only firm that specializes in the fields we cover and so can bring so much value to your business.
What two pieces of advice would you give to any entrepreneur starting today?
Look for “white-space” in the market, don’t start a company which is providing precisely what other established firms are doing. Look at bringing something new to market. You also should really understand business. Too many bright ideas have fallen by the wayside because the focus was on technology and no thought went into how to bring that technology to the market.
Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?
I’m a terrible gambler, so sorry I don’t play slots! What would I do with a million – well four things:
- Buy a sailing yacht
- See kids thru college
- Invest some of it in iMovo
- Donate to a charity that works with disadvantaged kids
|Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.
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